When I picked up Game On, I did so because I recognized the author’s name. Monica Seles. Anyone who grew up in a household that almost always had tennis running on TV would’ve recognized her name. If not for the former Word number 1’s 9 Grand Slam titles, then for the 1993 stabbing. Naturally I was curious when I saw the name. I wasn’t entirely sure if it was indeed her who authored the book. Turns out it was the Monica Seles. Even better that this book revolved around tennis! Or so I thought.
The Academy is an International Sports Mecca for teen athletes of all sports. There are only two ways in. Deep pockets or enough talent to score a scholarship.
Young tennis star Maya's dreams have finally come true when she earns a scholarship to The Academy. Plucked from her small town, Maya moves to the sports training facility/boarding school to (hopefully) start the beginning of her pro career. But Maya's fantasy of The Academy doesn't quite match the reality. Because where there are hot, talented teens, there's a lot of drama. Meet the players:
Cleo: Maya's rebel/punk roommate who is nearing the top of the golf world.
Renee: The gorgeous swimmer with enough money to buy her way into The Academy.
Nicole: A tennis star who feels threatened by Maya (but she'd never admit it).
Travis: The son of The Academy owner–perfectly groomed to be the next NFL star.
Jake: Travis' younger brother–the bad boy to his brother's good
Game On, while set at a sports academy didn’t involve as much tennis as I had hoped. Not for someone like Maya who had applied for the fourth time and was set on going pro one day. Maya wanted to become the best tennis player the world had seen. Yet once she because a student at the academy (on a scholarship, no less!) she spent more time running around with boys, chasing popularity and fame.
There were only two or three instances that saw Maya on court. Only one of these featured her training. The other time(s) she was hitting around with Nicole, the current top player in their league. At least there was Renee who took her swimming training seriously. Oh and there also was a mention of the guys’ football training. So yes, sports did matter in Game On, just way too little in terms of what I had expected to find in a book about a sports academy.
I’ve never read a book of Gossip Girl but I did watch the first season of the TV show before giving up on it. Somehow I would imagine that The Academy is better suited to people who enjoy reading books that revolve around boys, fame, money, parties and popularity. Once in a while I do pick up books in that vein but I rather I do so knowingly. They can be fun and easy reads, making me laugh and roll my eyes because of how ludicrous all these tales are. But when I don’t pick up a book like that for that very purpose, I can’t help by shake my head and wonder why I didn’t just pick up the tabloids because skimming through those only takes 10 minutes as opposed to the two hours I took to read this book.
What made matters worse for me was that blasted love triangle. It made zero sense. I mean sure, fantasy is all well and good, incorporating daydreams into a book to spice things up and make them more exciting than they usually would be in real life. However, a love triangle that exists solely to create excitement doesn’t work for me most of the time. In Game On it certainly didn’t. Had the characters been more developed and the relationships been established on deeper levels, I probably would have been able to overlook my gripes. Actually, no, I believed none of the romance. View Spoiler »Not with two utterly self-absorbed twats chasing after the same girl neither of them has known for a sizable amount of time. « Hide Spoiler Just, no.
All in all, if sports is what you are looking for, move along. If you want gossip-type books, then maybe The Academy might be worth a try.